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I need a good, classic (if possible!) read aloud for my 8yo who has read everything..


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Help! I'm failing at reading aloud to my 8 yo. He loves to read and devours everything in sight. However, I want to continue to read aloud to him. Do you have some suggestions? He's reading at a 6-8th grade level and has read... lots of stuff! Ideas would be wonderful. It needs to be something that will draw his attention or I'll lose him.

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Have you gone through the basics like the VP and SL catalogs? Really, some books are good enough to read again and again. Don't assume he won't enjoy hearing it again, just because he's heard it or read it before. There are some really gripping Dolphin Adventure books in the lower SL cores (not sure what they're called now, used to be the K core). Follow My Leader is another good one. Anything historical fiction works. My dd still likes the Lang Fairy Tales, but I don't know if that works with a boy. My main point was to not assume he won't want to hear books again. I know my dd has read and read books from our past.


PS. Swiss Family Robinson or something with a lot of adventure would probably go over big.

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Classic Starts " Treasure Island "

Classic Starts " Swiss Family Robinson "

My girls LOVED "Detectives in Togas "

" Mrs. Piggle Wiggle " we loved this book and there are two more in the series that we bought as well and loved .

Classic Starts " Robin Hood "

Usborn " Greek Myths " full of stories my girls love hearing the stories over and over again from this book .


I suggest the Classic Starts series because it is written towards this age level . Its not dumbed down . But just written more modernly so that young children can undstand the plot of the story .

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My son loved Jason's Gold by Will Hobbs It had quite a bit of adventure; young 15 yo boy travels alone from New York to the Alaskan Klondike Gold Rush. He stows away on a ship, joins thousands of prospectors attempting the difficult journey over Dead Horse Trail, Chilkoot Pass, and a five-hundred-mile trip by canoe down the Yukon River. He gets some help from a young writer by the name of Jack London :D, adopts a dog on the journey, faces death, moose, bears, and the subarctic winter weather. Meets bad guys, almost starves to death in a cabin...on and on adventure. Page turning stuff! :D The sequel Down the Yukon is good too.


It, Jason's Gold, was written in 1999 so it's not really considered a "classic" but it is definitely one we will be keeping, and one I look forward to some day reading to my grandsons (should I ever be blessed with some ;)).

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Little Grey Men, its sequel Down the Bright Stream, and Brendon Chase by B.B.

Tom's Midnight Garden by Phillipa Pearce

Ronia, the Robber's Daughter and Rasmus and the Vagabond by Astrid Lindgren

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase and the rest of the Wolves Chronicles series by Joan Aiken

The Elephant War by Gillian Avery

The Children of Green Knowe and sequels by L.M. Boston

Hobberdy Dick by Katherine Mary Briggs

The Return of the Twelves by Pauline Clarke (also called The Twelve and the Genii)

Ordinary Jack and the rest of the Bagthorpes series by Helen Cresswell

Kevin Crossley-Holland

T.A. Barron

Leon Garfield

Alan Garner

Rumer Godden

Erik Haugaard's Samurai books

Green Mansions by W.H. Hudson

Terry Jones -- yes, of Monte Python; he has a few humorous and well written historical fiction novels

Puck of Pook's Hill by Rudyard Kipling (this was not an easy read aloud for me, but it was worth it)

Margaret Mahy

John Masefield (esp. Box of Delights)

E. Nesbit

Kenneth Oppal's Silverwing, Firewing, and Sunwing trilogy

Alison Uttley

Sylvia Waugh's Space Race, Earthborne, and Who Goes Home? trilogy


I keep an eye on the New York Review of Books Children's Collection and Jane Nissen books for interesting and often quirky new titles.

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William Steig's chapter books might be just the ticket. I recently picked up Abel's Island because Steig's picture book Amos and Boris is one of my favorites. I read the first chapter and then my son read the rest on his own, but now I really wish that I had read it aloud. Steig's stories have thought-provoking themes which make for great discussions. He also uses an incredible array of vocabulary. I know that my son got the main idea of the story, but I also know that he missed many of the great words and nuances in the book that I could have brought out by reading it aloud.


I started reading it on my own and then immediately went and got Dominic by Steig from the library. I've started reading this one aloud and I love it. Simply love it.


Now I wonder why I haven't seen his chapter books recommended here before. Did I miss it? I'm I the only one who loves them? I think I'm pretty selective, and I would rate them a ten out of ten, especially for a younger crowd with a higher reading/comprehension level. Thought-provoking themes and wonderful vocabulary, animals as main characters, quirky illustrations, an abundance of action...

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How about the Wonderful Wizard of Oz and The Adventures of Pinnochio...both very different than the movies and great adventure stories. My daughter (also 8 and loves adventure stories) also loves to hear Greek Myths and Fairy Tales...Black Ships Before Troy, Classic Myths to Read Aloud, The Golden Book of Fairy Tales.


Also, have you looked at The Read Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease? The first part talks about why it is important to read aloud to children throughout their childhood (not just before they can read) and in the back there is an extensive annotated list of read alouds for all ages. Most of the books are not classics, just good books to read aloud. You might want to check it out from your library to see if you find it helpful - I did and then bought my own copy :)

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How about the Wonderful Wizard of Oz


I second this. He can't possibly have read every Oz book already, right?


Also, how about the Fairy books by Andrew Lang? There are many of them: Violet, Lilac, Orange, etc., in addition to the Red and Blue Fairy books we see on lists.


Redwall is another series that would take a fast reader a long while to exhaust.

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Gentle Ben


The Birchbark House


The Rescuers Series


The 101 Dalmations


Any of the New York Reissue books on amazon:

lots of good ones just type in Jenny Linsky and then follow the links to the other, higher level chapter books by many authors

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I am reading A Wrinkle in Time to my kids right now and my 9 year old son loves it. Also:


The Black Arrow, by Robert Louis Stevenson

Johnny Termain

Sherlock Holmes

Treasure Seekers, or anything by E. Nesbit


Have you checked out childrensbooks.com. They have a great selection of historical literature and my son has enjoyed many of the books there.



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it remains one of our very favorite books. We have the recording and listen to is yearly in the car on a vacation trip-the narrator's voice is wonderful and totally does justice to the gentle humor and character of the story. An absolute fave here. It's OOP so if you find it, it's a tape, and a former library book.


We are looking at a biography of William Steig here-he had a very interesting life.

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We use books on tape sometimes instead of read alouds. I find that my time is so stretched between the four chidren as they get older, that this helps me tremendously! So many of the books on tape do an awesome job with the voices and background music, that I can't compete!



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Pilgrims Progress by John Bunyan ... Great discussion book


Bears of Blue River by Charles Major (boy growing up in Indiana and fighting with Bears)


I second the Swallows and Amazons series (great adventure story of four kids who camp on an island in a lake)


We've listened to several of Henty's books read on CD by Jim Weiss. These are abridged, but my girls loved them.


The Story of King Arthur and His Knights by Pyle

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